Gov’t hospitals urged to enlarge hemodialysis units amid surge in kidney patients

June 9, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 109 views

AMID the surge in the number of Filipinos living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo has urged public hospitals to avail of additional funding from the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) so that they can enlarge their outpatient hemodialysis units.

“We would urge all public hospitals to seek HFEP funding so that they can increase their hemodialysis stations and accommodate more CKD patients,” Rillo, a member of the House committee on appropriations, said on Sunday.

“The HFEP has an allocation of P28.5 billion in the 2024 General Appropriations Law, and Congress is providing fresh funding for the program every year,” Rillo said.

The HFEP bankrolls the construction, upgrading, or expansion of public healthcare facilities and the procurement of additional hospital or medical equipment, according to Rillo.

The country is observing National Kidney Month this June “to raise public awareness of the fatal consequences of renal diseases.”

CKD is among the leading causes of sickness and death in the Philippines.

Filipinos living with CKD have to undergo hemodialysis treatment up to three times every week, with each session lasting for four hours.

“Public hospitals must guarantee Filipinos living with CKD ready and uninterrupted access to hemodialysis treatment to assure them a superior quality of life,” Rillo said.

Rillo has championed patient rights, including their right of receive adequate healthcare.

Last month, through Rillo’s efforts, the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City and Passion Healthcare Philippines Inc. agreed to work together to provide sustained hemodialysis treatment to disadvantaged CKD patients.

Rillo also previously launched free hemodialysis treatment in Barangay U.P. Campus, Quezon City, through a licensed facility.

Hemodialysis procedure remains the No. 1 treatment package being claimed by Filipinos and their healthcare providers.

In 2023 alone, a total of 3,627,350 hemodialysis procedure claims were filed with the state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), which spent an aggregate of P17.4 billion to pay the claims.